For Immediate Release
September 10, 1999
Media Contact: Chuck Melley
202-219-4287
www.ntia.doc.gov

U.S. COMMERCE DEPARTMENT, NSI, ICANN, CLOSING IN ON
DOMAIN NAME AGREEMENTS:
TESTBED EXTENSION GRANTED

Washington, D.C. - The Department of Commerce and Network Solutions agreed today to a further extension of the testbed period of the development of the Shared Registration System until September 30. The Department also announced that discussions between the Department of Commerce, Network Solutions and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) regarding management of the domain name system are nearing completion.

"NSI, ICANN, and the Department of Commerce have made great progress in resolving their differences, and the end of those discussions is in sight," Pincus said. "This additional extension should allow us to bring them to conclusion."

"The decisions by 19 additional registrars to participate in the test bed phase since August 6, 1999, has brought us closer to our goal of introducing competition in domain name registration services," said Commerce General Counsel Andrew J. Pincus. "With access to the software and the Shared Registration System, these additional registrars are able to develop domain name registration services and enter the market," Pincus said. A total of 10 registrars are now competing to provide registration services in the .com, .net, and .org domains. "We understand that the Shared Registration System has continued to perform well in this expanded testbed environment and are pleased with that result," Pincus added. All ICANN accredited registrars are eligible to participate in the test bed phase.

The Shared Registration System, which allows multiple licensed accredited registrars to provide domain name registration services in the .com, .net, and .org domains, was developed by Network Solutions pursuant to a Cooperative Agreement with the United States Government. Amendment 11 of the Cooperative Agreement established a test bed phase for the development of the System. On August 6, the Department of Commerce and Network Solutions agreed to open the test bed phase to all registrars accredited by ICANN.

ICANN is the California-based, not-for-profit corporation with a Board of Directors from around the world, developed by the Internet community to undertake management of the Internet domain name system functions now performed by, or under agreement with, the United States Government. Under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Commerce, ICANN is responsible for the accreditation of registrars in the .com, .net, and .org domains.
 

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